Tyrese Maxey

Sixers Rumors: George, Butler, Anunoby, KCP, LaVine, Maxey

A report last week suggested the Sixers‘ interest in acquiring Clippers star Paul George has “waned,” but sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype that Philadelphia still has “significant interest” in signing George if he opts for free agency.

George, the number one name on our list of this year’s top 50 free agents, has until Saturday to decide whether to exercise his $48.8MM option for next season. If George is unable to reach an extension agreement with L.A. by then, he can either decline the option and test free agency or opt in and demand a trade.

George has long been considered an offseason priority for Philadelphia, which has the ability to create more than $60MM in cap room. The Magic are among the teams that are also expected to pursue George if he reaches the open market.

Sources inform Scotto that a trade for Heat forward Jimmy Butler remains a viable option for the Sixers if they can’t acquire George. Butler spent most of the 2018/19 season in Philadelphia before being traded to Miami and has maintained a strong relationship with Joel Embiid.

Another option, according to Scotto, could be a “short-term, higher market average annual salary” deal with Knicks free agent forward OG Anunoby. Scotto also hears the Sixers may also offer Nuggets guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope a two-year contract similar to what Bruce Brown got last year, with a large salary for next season and a team option for 2025/26.

There’s more on the Sixers, all courtesy of Scotto:

  • Sources tell Scotto that Philadelphia has less interest in trading for Bulls guard Zach LaVine now that Alex Caruso can no longer be part of the deal. Caruso was shipped to Oklahoma City on Friday in a trade for Josh Giddey. The Sixers are reluctant to take on the three years and $138MM left on LaVine’s contract without other assets attached.
  • Tyrese Maxey is considered virtually certain to sign a max extension this summer, but Klutch CEO Rich Paul may want something in return for waiting a year while the team worked to maximize its cap space, Scotto adds. He suggests Paul might ask for a player option on the final year of Maxey’s next contract, along with a 15% trade kicker. 
  • With Buddy Hield possibly departing in free agency, Scotto sees Baylor guard Ja’Kobe Walter as a potential replacement in the draft. He notes that Walter has a 6’10” wingspan and is considered a much better perimeter defender than Hield.

And-Ones: Top Free Agents, Cousins, Ayayi, Barkley

Lakers star LeBron James is the top name on a list of possible free agents compiled by Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. Even as he nears age 40, James has the potential to shake up the league if he turns down his $51.4MM player option and decides to test the market this summer.

Pincus acknowledges that James is likely to remain in L.A. no matter what he does with the option. He can either opt in and extend his contract for two more seasons or opt out and negotiate a new deal starting at $49.4MM. Either way, Pincus expects James’ next contract to run through the 2026/27 season.

Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey is second on Pincus’ list, but he’s almost certain to reach a maximum extension with Philadelphia, which can pay him significantly more than any rival team. Pacers forward Pascal Siakam, Clippers forward Paul George and Clippers guard James Harden round out the top five.

There’s more news from around the basketball world:

  • Former NBA center DeMarcus Cousins earned Finals MVP honors as he led the Taiwan Beer Leopards to the Taiwan T1 league title, according to ClutchPoints (Twitter link). The six-time All-Star, who hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2021/22 season, joined the Taiwanese team in mid-April.
  • Shooting guard Joel Ayayi, who appeared in seven games with Washington during the 2021/22 season, has signed with JL Bourg in France. The French native played his college ball at Gonzaga, then spent two years in the G League before joining Nanterre 92 this season.
  • As Charles Barkley laments the possible loss of Inside the NBA, he’s also publicly negotiating his next contract, according to Bryan Curtis of The Ringer. Curtis notes that the show’s demise will make Barkley the most in-demand free agent in TV sports history. He adds that Barkley is doing a masterful job of promoting himself by being extremely quotable and appearing on a large number of shows to increase his visibility. Curtis states that Barkley’s approach to the business can be summed up by something he said on a podcast when he was negotiating with LIV Golf two years ago: “I love my job at TNT. I love the people. But you have to take all meetings.”

Edwards, Haliburton Earn Salary Increases With All-NBA Nods

The maximum-salary rookie scale extensions that Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards and Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton signed last offseason will have starting salaries worth 30% of the 2024/25 salary cap instead of 25% after both players made All-NBA teams. Edwards earned a spot on the Second Team, while Haliburton made the Third Team.

As our maximum-salary projections for ’24/25 show, based on a $141MM cap, the five-year deals signed by Edwards and Haliburton will now be worth $245,340,000 instead of $204,450,000. Those numbers could change if the cap comes in above or below $141MM.

Edwards and Haliburton agreed to Rose Rule language in their respective extensions. The Rose Rule allow players coming off their rookie scale contracts to receive salaries worth more than 25% of the cap in year five if they make an All-NBA team during the season (or two of the three seasons) before their extension goes into effect. Players can also qualify by being named Most Valuable Player or Defensive Player of the Year.

Hornets guard LaMelo Ball had similar language in his maximum-salary extension, but injuries prevented him from having any shot at All-NBA team in 2023/24, so his contract will be worth $204.45MM over five years.

Here are more of the financial implications of today’s All-NBA selections:

  • Because Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey didn’t make an All-NBA team, his maximum salary as a restricted free agent this offseason will be worth 25% of the cap instead of 30%. He’ll be eligible for a five-year deal up to a projected $204.45MM.
  • Mavericks guard Luka Doncic and Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander met the super-max performance criteria by earning All-NBA nods for a second straight year, but neither player has enough years of service yet to sign a designated veteran extension this summer. Both Doncic and Gilgeous-Alexander will be eligible to sign super-max extensions, starting at 35% of the cap instead of 30%, during the 2025 offseason. As Bobby Marks of ESPN outlines (Twitter links), Doncic would be eligible for a five-year extension projected to be worth over $346MM that begins in 2026/27, while SGA could sign a four-year extension worth a projected $294MM+ that would begin in 2027/28.
  • Celtics forward Jayson Tatum is one year ahead of Doncic and Gilgeous-Alexander — he met the super-max performance criteria by making a second straight All-NBA team in 2023, but was still one year away from having the required years of service at that time. He’ll be eligible this July to sign a five-year super-max extension that will start at 35% of the ’25/26 cap and be worth a projected $314.85MM.
  • Players who would have been eligible for super-max extensions if they had made an All-NBA team include Kings guard De’Aaron Fox, Heat big man Bam Adebayo, Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram, and Nuggets guard Jamal Murray. All of those players could still qualify if they remain with their current teams and earn All-NBA honors next season, though it’s worth noting that Ingram is considered a trade candidate this summer and is highly unlikely to get a super-max offer even if he qualifies.
  • Kings center Domantas Sabonis earned a $1.3MM contract bonus as a result of being named to the All-NBA Third Team, tweets James Ham of The Kings Beat.

2023/24 All-NBA Teams Announced

The All-NBA teams have been announced for the 2023/24 season (Twitter link).

A total of 99 media members voted on the honors, with players receiving five points for a First Team vote, three points for a Second Team vote and one point for a Third Team vote. This year’s All-NBA teams are as follows:

First Team

Second Team

Third Team

Gilgeous-Alexander and Jokic were the only two unanimous First Team selections, receiving 99 of 99 possible votes. Doncic earned 98 First Team votes but was named to the Second Team on one ballot. Antetokounmpo (88), Tatum (65), Brunson (37), Edwards (3), and Durant (2) were the only other players to receive multiple First Team votes.

Others receiving votes and their point totals are the CelticsJaylen Brown (50), the ClippersPaul George (16), the SixersTyrese Maxey (16), the TimberwolvesRudy Gobert (12), the SpursVictor Wembanyama (11), the PelicansZion Williamson (11), the Magic’s Paolo Banchero (10), the KingsDe’Aaron Fox (9) the Heat’s Bam Adebayo (7) and the BullsDeMar DeRozan (1).

This is the first season that a minimum number of games was required to qualify for most postseason awards under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Among the stars who might have received All-NBA consideration if they had reached the 65-game threshold are Sixers center Joel Embiid, who was the 2023 MVP, along with Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell, Grizzlies guard Ja Morant, Knicks forward Julius Randle and Celtics big man Kristaps Porzingis.

This was also the first season that voting for the All-NBA team was positionless, though that didn’t have a huge impact on the results, as the top two teams still feature two guards, a pair of forwards, and a center. The Third Team is made up a center, three guards, and just one forward.

Wembanyama, who received two votes for the Second Team and five for the Third Team, was the only rookie named on any of the ballots. Earlier this week, he became the first rookie to earn a spot on an All-Defensive First Team.

The Lakers with Davis and James and the Suns with Durant and Booker were the only teams to have multiple players honored. They were both eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.

Several players became eligible for salary increases or earned a bonus by achieving All-NBA honors. Read more here.

Sixers’ Tyrese Maxey Wins 2023/24 Sportsmanship Award

After being named the league’s Most Improved Player last month, Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey has added another 2023/24 award to his trophy case, having been voted the Sportsmanship Award winner for this season as well, the NBA announced in a press release (Twitter links).

The Sportsmanship Award has been presented annually since ’95/96 and “honors a player who best represents the ideals of sportsmanship on the court.”

According to the NBA, each team nominated one of its players. The 30-player list was then trimmed down to six — one player from each division — by a panel of league executives. Finally, current players voted on the six finalists.

As the full voting results show, Maxey received the most first-place votes and most total points, making him the winner. Heat big man Kevin Love was the runner-up, followed by (in order) Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen, Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kings forward Harrison Barnes, and Spurs point guard Tre Jones.

The 21st overall pick of the 2020 draft, Maxey will be eligible for restricted free agency this offseason. After his excellent performances this season, there’s no doubt that the 23-year-old will return to the 76ers.

Sixers Notes: Reed, Lowry, FAs, Martin, Maxey

Sixers backup center Paul Reed had the best regular season of his career in 2023/24, posting career-best marks in every major counting stat while appearing in all 82 games (24 starts), including 7.3 PPG, 6.0 RPG and 1.0 BPG in 19.4 MPG.

However, as Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes (subscriber link), Reed struggled mightily on both ends of the court in the team’s first-round loss to New York, with those averages falling to 1.5 PPG, 2.7 RPG and 0.5 BPG in 7.2 MPG.

The 24-year-old signed a uniquely structured offer sheet with Utah last summer, which Philadelphia quickly matched. He’s on a three-year, $23.56MM deal, but the next two seasons are fully non-guaranteed after the Sixers failed to make the second round of the postseason. Reed’s future with the club is now uncertain, though one report stated the 76ers wanted to bring him back.

This definitely adds a little extra pressure, but I’m going to go out there and put my best foot forward every day like I always do,” Reed said. “I always perform my best under pressure, so everything is for a reason. And maybe this is in God’s plans. So it is what it is.”

Here’s more from  Philadelphia:

  • Former six-time All-Star Kyle Lowry isn’t sure what his future holds in free agency, but the longtime veteran point guard did say he plans to play a 19th season in 2024/25, according to Pompey (subscription required). “I had a great opportunity to be a part of two superstars in this league,” the Philadelphia native said of playing with Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey. “And for me, it was a joy to be around them. We’ll see what happens in the next couple months.” Though he struggled individually in the final two games of the series to the Knicks, Lowry was definitely a positive overall addition, Pompey adds.
  • The Sixers have 10 impending free agents this summer. Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer (subscriber link) breaks down what each player said about his situation after the season concluded. Little-used reserve KJ Martin freely acknowledged he planned to test the open market. “I got traded twice this year, and that wasn’t my choice,” Martin said. “And now I have the option to kind of pick where I can go and what’s best for my career, so that’s what I’m going to do. … I think it’s time to do what’s best for me and keep moving forward, whether it’s here or God knows where.”
  • Most Improved Player award winner Tyrese Maxey exceeded the team’s expectations this season and Philadelphia is firmly committed to him as a centerpiece of the future, Mizell writes in another story (subscription required). “The step he took this year is extremely hard,” president of basketball operations Daryl Morey said of Maxey. “And, for sure, not a given that he would have done it. But I guess we should all learn not to bet against Tyrese, given he has beat expectations every single season, both prior to coming here and then here.”

Sixers’ Morey Vows To Shake Up Roster In “Big” Offseason

Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey confirmed during a Monday press conference that he’ll be busy reworking his roster this summer, Dan Gelston of The Associated Press reports.

“We’re not going to have continuity,” Morey said. “We’ll have continuity with our stars and our head coach but we’re going to have a lot of changes this season.”

Morey feels the heat to build a championship roster around his two stars.

This offseason’s a big one,” Morey said. “I owe it to the fans, to ownership, to everybody, to get this team in a place where we’re competing for championships. We obviously didn’t achieve it this year.”

Joel Embiid is the only two player with a guaranteed contract beyond this season. Tyrese Maxey will be a restricted free agent and is expected to sign a maximum-salary contract.

Beyond that, everything is up for grabs. Morey could have $65MM in cap space to wheel and deal, along with signing free agents. He’s not against signing an aging star, such as Paul George, if one becomes available in the free agent market.

“You have to factor in the age,” Morey said. “We feel like we’re in the window where we have to win now. We’re mostly focused on getting the best players that fit with Joel and Tyrese.”

Morey has some regrets regarding this season, namely that he didn’t have a deep enough roster. The Sixers slid down the standings when Embiid was sidelined for two months after undergoing knee surgery. He wasn’t close to 100% in the postseason when Philadelphia lost to New York in the opening round.

“It can’t be a big focus, how we play without him. We know that team can’t win a championship,” Morey said. “It’s really, how do we manage through it better? I felt like, on me, the depth wasn’t quite there when he was out to win at the level we wanted to win at.”

Here are some other notable tidbits from Morey’s press conference:

  • His top priority is to find a wing “who can play and deliver at a high level in the playoffs,” Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic tweets.
  • Coach Nick Nurse will be retained. Reserves Paul Reed and Ricky Council IV are also expected to be back, even though their salaries are not guaranteed, Vorkunov adds.
  • Though he hasn’t ruled out re-signing Buddy Hield, who was acquired from Indiana at the trade deadline, Morey admitted that “the fit was less good than I thought,” per Kyle Neubeck of PHLY Sports (Twitter link). Hield played sparingly in the first round until Game 6, when he scored 20 points in 21 minutes.
  • Maxey’s performances during the regular season and playoffs proved to Morey that he can be the second-best player on a title team, Vorkunov relays in another tweet. “That belief went from high to we’re certain at this point that he can do that,” he said.

Sixers Rumors: Maxey, Reed, Offseason Targets, Harris, Hield, Oubre

While the Sixers are disappointed by how quickly their playoff run ended this spring, there are reasons for optimism going forward. For one, guard Tyrese Maxey showed this season that he’s an impact player capable of becoming a legitimate second star alongside center Joel Embiid, according to Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer and Tim Bontemps of ESPN.

“He was amazing this year,” Embiid said of his teammate, per Mizell. “One of the 10 best players in the world this year. … He’s gotten so much better. I think there’s another step he can even take.”

Maxey will be a restricted free agent this summer, but that’s just a technicality — he will count against the Sixers’ cap for just $13MM until he signs his new contract. After using up their cap room, the 76ers will be able to go over the cap to lock him up to a maximum-salary deal that projects to be worth at least $35MM in 2024/25 — or up to $42.3MM if Maxey makes an All-NBA team.

Because the Sixers didn’t win a playoff series, Paul Reed‘s $7.7MM salary for ’24/25 will remain non-guaranteed, which means the club could potentially enter free agency with only Embiid’s salary ($51.4MM) and Maxey’s $13MM cap hold counting toward team salary. According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link), Philadelphia could have up to $64.9MM in cap room with just those two players on the books. That number would be closer to $55MM if the 76ers retain Reed and their first-round pick.

What might the Sixers do what that cap room? Sources tell Bontemps that Jrue Holiday was a top target until he signed an extension in Boston. OG Anunoby is also on their wish list, per Bontemps, though he’s considered likely to re-sign with the Knicks. Appearing on ESPN’s Get Up (Twitter video link), Brian Windhorst identified Paul George as Philadelphia’s No. 1 priority and said he thinks the team will make George a maximum-salary offer, assuming he hasn’t re-upped with the Clippers before free agency.

If no top-tier free agents are available, Daryl Morey and the Sixers figure to turn to their trade market, since they’ll have several first-round picks available to move and won’t have to send out matching salary. Windhorst mentions Heat swingman Jimmy Butler and Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram as a pair of possible trade targets for the Sixers.

On the other hand, it’s not necessarily a star-or-bust summer for Philadelphia, according to Bontemps, who says one other potential path for the club would be to pursue a series of role players who complement Embiid and Maxey, like the Nuggets have done around Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. In that scenario, the Sixers could explore re-signing a few of their own free agents, such as Kelly Oubre, De’Anthony Melton, Nicolas Batum, and/or Kyle Lowry. League sources expect Tobias Harris to be playing elsewhere next season though, per Bontemps.

Here’s more on the Sixers:

  • A reunion with Butler feels like a long shot, but David Aldridge of The Athletic argues that the former Sixer is exactly the kind of “alpha” the team needs to complement Embiid and Maxey. Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald (Twitter link) suggests that he can’t imagine the Heat accepting a trade package heavy on draft assets for Butler unless they planned to flip those assets for another star.
  • Bobby Marks of ESPN (Insider link) and Mark Deeks of HoopsHype shared their Sixers offseason previews, taking a closer look at the decisions facing the franchise.
  • Veteran sharpshooter Buddy Hield, who will be an unrestricted free agent, said that he would like to return to Philadelphia, tweets Mizell. Hield scored 20 points in 21 minutes in Game 6 on Thursday but had only scored two points and had a pair of DNP-CDs in the five playoff games before that.
  • Oubre also expressed interest in re-signing with the Sixers, suggesting that he feels like he has “unfinished business” after the first-round loss. “I just wanna be loved,” Oubre said of his priorities in free agency, according to Ky Carlin of Sixers Wire. “I don’t know about the business side of it. I mean, I do, but I can’t tell you what I know because I represent myself right now. At the end of the day, I wanna go somewhere where they respect and they love me. It’s been nothing but love here, of course.”
  • Taking a bigger-picture view, Danny Chau of The Ringer considers what another early playoff exit means for Embiid and his legacy.

Knicks Notes: Maxey, Blown Call, Hart, Bogdanovic, Mitchell, McBride

While much of the focus in the first round series between the Knicks and Sixers was how New York could keep Joel Embiid under control, Tyrese Maxey has become a bigger problem, Stefan Bondy of the New York Post notes.

Maxey has scored more points and dished out more assists than Embiid while shooting 50% from the field. The Knicks have tried to slow down Maxey with a combination of OG Anunoby, Miles McBride and Josh Hart but nothing has worked. They’ll be looking for answers tonight in Philadelphia when the Knicks try once again to close out the series in Game 6.

“They’re really trying to pressure me so that’s where I try to use myself as a decoy. …Tyrese is going to come and make a wide-open layup or shoot it or be able to drive,” Embiid said.

We have more on the Knicks:

  • New York could have already been preparing for the second round if the officials had made the right call in the final minute of regulation in Game 5. Maxey’s pivotal four-point play shouldn’t have counted because he traveled on the play, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minutes report, Bondy relays. “Maxey gathers the ball on his left foot, takes two legal steps, and then moves his right foot again just before he is fouled on his shot,” the NBA determined in its report.
  • Hart, who has led the league in total minutes since February, says it’s not big deal for him to shoulder a heavy workload — in fact, he believes his significant playing time during the season helped prepare him for the playoffs. “It’s always funny because you see especially now during the playoffs, everybody is playing 40 minutes. Some people can’t do it,” Hart told Bondy. “Some people go from 34 to 41 and they don’t have the energy. It’s something we’ve had to deal with throughout the whole season.” Hart went the distance in the overtime loss on Tuesday, Peter Botte of the New York Post notes, logging all 53 minutes.
  • Bojan Bogdanovic underwent left foot surgery on Wednesday, Ian Begley of SNY TV tweets. Bogdanovic, who is also expected to need wrist surgery, will be reevaluated in three months to determine the progress of his foot procedure. The Knicks have a decision to make regarding Bogdanovic this offseason. His $19MM contract is only guaranteed for $2MM.
  • Mitchell Robinson is listed as questionable for Thursday’s game due to an ankle sprain, The Athletic’s Fred Katz tweets. Robinson played 25 minutes in Game 5 after missing Game 3.
  • McBride is embracing the steady playing time he’s receiving in the series, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. He’s averaging 13 points in 26.2 minutes in the five games. “I’m just glad I’m getting the opportunity, and able to show other people what I’m capable of,” McBride said.

Sixers Notes: Maxey, Embiid, Nurse, Harris

After winning the NBA’s Most Improved Player award for 2023/24 last week, Tyrese Maxey capped a memorable April with the biggest game of his four-year NBA career on Tuesday. The star guard scored 46 points in 52 minutes, including seven in the final 30 seconds of regulation to force the game into overtime, leading the Sixers to a Game 5 victory that kept their season alive.

“What was going through my mind was trying to survive,” Maxey said, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN. “Our season is on the line. I trust my work. I trust what I’ve done all my life, and I just tried to get to a spot, raise up and knock that shot down.”

The Sixers’ other star, Joel Embiid, had a triple-double in Tuesday’s victory, racking up 19 points, 16 rebounds, and 10 assists. But Embiid, who is dealing with a sore knee, a case of Bell’s palsy, and a migraine that forced him to miss Tuesday morning’s shootaround, clearly wasn’t operating at full strength and made just 7-of-19 shots from the field. Last season’s MVP said after the game that he appreciated Maxey coming through when the club needed him most.

“Tonight, obviously based on the circumstances and knowing what was needed, based on what was happening and me not being able to be myself, he just had to do it,” Embiid said, per Bontemps. “And he did it. That’s why he is such an amazing basketball player.”

Here’s more on the Sixers, who now trail the Knicks 3-2 in their first-round series:

  • Embiid has become public enemy number one among Knicks fans during the first round, especially following a physical Game 3 performance in which he was accused of committing a “dirty” foul on opposing center Mitchell Robinson. However, the Sixers star had nothing but praise for the New York faithful after being on the receiving end of their vitriol in Game 5, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “It’s not hostile. I love New York. New York is my favorite city in the world. I have a place here for the past five years. I just love New York,” Embiid said. “And then the (Knicks) fans, when you play against a team they’re always gonna pick that guy. And they seem to have picked me, which is fine. I love it. If I gotta be the punching bag and keep hearing a lot of ‘F Embiid,’ that’s ok. I love it.”
  • Nick Nurse become the second NBA head coach to suffer an injury during the postseason, though it doesn’t sound as if his issue is as serious as Chris Finch‘s patellar tendon tear, which required surgery. As Ian Begley of SNY.tv tweets, Nurse injured a finger during Tuesday’s game when he slammed his hand in frustration over a call. It’s unclear if he broke or sprained the finger, but the 76ers’ coach couldn’t grip a marker to draw up plays during the second half, Begley adds.
  • Prior to Tuesday’s game, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer suggested that it might be a good idea to bring struggling forward Tobias Harris off the bench after he scored no more than 10 points in any of the series’ first four games. However, Nurse stuck with Harris in the starting five and the veteran rewarded his faith in Game 5, Pompey notes, scoring 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Harris was a +11 in 49 minutes of action. “Coach drew up some opportunities for me early on to get me going,” Harris said. “And I think that was just big for myself and overall, and just getting into a rhythm and getting into a flow out there.”